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Kulakhmetov did not act as initiator in Geneva2009-09-18 19:16
The negotiating table in Switzerland where the seventh round of discussions was held is turning into a place for idle talk. The seventh round of negotiations did not produce any effect again. Russia attached weight to its delegation by inviting former Commander of the Russian contingent Marat Kulakhmetov. However, he did not affect the course of the discussion.
It is the seventh time that the Russian delegation in Geneva suggested developing agreements between Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia on non-use of force, but in vain. Since the first round that took place on October 15 last year, the only achievement of the discussions was the creation of a mechanism aimed at preventing incidents in conflict zones. For that purpose, the Georgians keep meeting the Abkhazians every two weeks in the presence of international observers. However, exchange of information only partly helps eliminate the tension at the Georgian borders.
Starting for yesterday's negotiations, the Georgian party reckoned to raise and somehow settle two main issues. The first one was about the return of refugees. At the beginning of September, the United Nations Organization (UN) General Assembly supported the Georgian draft resolution on the status of refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia despite the protest of the Russian party. Yesterday, the Georgian delegation reckoned to start working on the schedule of returning the Georgians to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
However, the South-Ossetian delegation headed by the South-Ossetian Presidential Envoy for Post-Conflict Settlement Boris Chochiev had stated beforehand that it would present "its own project of settling the issue of refugees and forced migrants starting from the 90s". Chochiev meant that the precondition of repatriation of the Georgians should imply the return of about one hundred thousand Ossetians to Georgia that had been expelled in the times of nationalistic ideology.
Still, such presentation of the problem is not welcomed by everyone in Tskhinval. On the Ossetian radio and television web-site, Alexander Keleskhaev underlined that, if necessary, the Georgians will easily construct new dwellings for the Ossetians using the funds allocated by the West, while for the South-Ossetian authorities, the return of the Georgians will run to a pretty penny. "For South Ossetia, it is more important to accept and integrate the Ossetians from Georgia into their society, improving the demographic situation", - the Ossetian expert believes. With such kind of public attitude, it would be prematurely to speak about reintegration of the Georgian refugees into the Ossetian society.